7.3 Summary of Section 7
The historian Linda Colley locates the birth of ‘Britain’ after 1707. She mentions three main factors that contributed to establishing the British nation: war, religion and the prospect of material advantage.
The creation of the UK was not free from conflict, resistance, war and military intervention.
The British Empire generated a unique opportunity for most UK nations to participate and enjoy some of the benefits it brought. Their peripheral status was temporarily overwhelmed by a new periphery in the empire.
In the twenty-first century, Britishness is being redefined and an English identity is struggling to emerge as a distinct category separate from British identity. The two had been considered synonymous.